IGTV - What You Need To Know

by Nimi Randhawa on Wednesday 5 September 2018

Only a mere 2 months ago we saw the hotly anticipated launch of Instagram TV – aka IGTV, with it’s extravagant launch in San Fran. Things have moved fast from us consuming video from our TV to shifting to desktop to Cisco now reporting that by 2021 mobile video will account for 78% of all mobile traffic. Popular mobile app, Instagram, has evidenced how it capitalises on trends efficiently, with its previous introduction of ‘stories’ and more recently Instagram ‘live’.


The IGTV icon appears within the instagram, with longer videos (up to 1 hour) being displayed in a standalone IGTV app in vertical format, where curators with larger followings can share videos with the same audience and followers on Instagram. 


But how will the app aim to monetize this new offering?


Youtube has previously been bashed about how much it pays its content partners via a revenue share, but that has allowed it to sustain its position as the most popular video-sharing platform amongst influencers. Vine did not have a payment system in place with curators causing it to sink into oblivion and Facebook have yet to figure out a consistent payment system that pays out to curators either.  This is the primary reason why most people post on Youtube and share that link via other social platforms – like Facebook.


From a marketing perspective, it would be interesting to see how Instagram positions IGTV to help brands showcase their products better than other channels. As it stands, mentions and links are not yet clickable when viewing videos, so brands have to rely on nurturing their potential customer base and then add their URL at the end of the video or rely on influencers correctly mentioning where to find their products within the video.  In terms of sustaining content creation, the most likely solution for the new IGTV is to air pre/mid–roll advertisements within longer form videos and introduce revenue split or pay curators out right for content.


How close will it get to Youtube’s offering? Well, there’s still a long way to go. Marques Brownlee, stated to The Verge, “There are a lot of things [IGTV] doesn’t do still that YouTube does. It’s competing with a part of what YouTube does by focusing in a different way”. The lack of search options also make the new feature/app miles different in terms of usability, as searching is limited to curators and not hashtags or keywords.


How Instagram will develop IGTV into a content rich money-maker is yet to be seen. But with its built-in 1 billion user base we can predict that a lot more people will trial the feature to see how to best engage with their audience.